The situation was tense.
A three-year diplomatic spat involving visa fees and bad decisions had stifled relations between Canada and the UAE. As Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird sat down with his Middle-Eastern counterpart yesterday, neither knew what to expect.
But that’s when a ‘diplomatic double double’ saved the day.
Yup, that’s right. Add it to the list of world problems that could be solved with a good ol’ fashioned cup of Tim Hortons coffee. Baird personally served the royal prince of Abu Dhabi, and the two ministers even signed a coffee pot together. Clearly, talks were going well.
Which brings us back to the spat. Relations soured between the two nations in 2010, after Canada refused to grant Emirati airlines extra landing rights. The dispute prompted the closure of a Canadian Forces staging base outside of Dubai, and led to a costly visa being imposed on Canadian visitors.
But the tension couldn’t be seen in the two ministers during their meeting. After satisfying their Tim’s fix, the royal prince even flew Baird out to meet UAE’s Prime Minister. The nation later dropped the punitive visa penalties, and Canadians can now visit the country as if nothing happened.
Must’ve been the coffee.